The urgent need for private funders to invest in mental health
Published: 29 October, 2019
Professor Helen Christensen, Director and Chief Scientist at the Black Dog Institute responds to Future Generation’s report which paints a dire picture of the significant funding gaps for mental health-related causes from philanthropists and corporate foundations.
Released today, Australia’s mental health crisis: why private funders are not answering the call highlights the urgent need for greater private investment in mental health.
While 85% of surveyed private funders acknowledged Australia’s mental health crisis, just 28% reported they would consistently and directly invest in mental health causes.
The report shows that mental health charities collectively receive just 0.8% of the entire gross income of the charity sector (total gross income of $1.5billion), ranking 17th of 26 in the list of total gross income.
Meanwhile, the highest-ranked cancer charity by gross income from government and private donations received more than the top 16 mental health charities combined. This contrasts markedly with the impact of mental health disorders, which will by 2030 exceed that of respiratory and cardiovascular disease combined.
The report also suggests that mental health charities need to reform and clarify the way investors can contribute to gaps, and to make sure that they focus on demonstrating the impact of their activities.
Black Dog Institute is very fortunate to have support from many philanthropic and private funders, who are leading the way in acknowledging the importance of investment in mental health research and programs.
We stand ready to support these findings and recommendations, to identify new opportunities for impactful mental health funding, and to help consolidate the sector with our partners.
While we are proud of our collaborative approach, we need to improve to help benefit the many millions of people whose lives could be enhanced through better research and services funded by private funders. This report is a wakeup call to the sector to reduce duplication and better illustrate our value.
Black Dog Institute thanks FGG for their ongoing support for our vital research, and for their foresight in bringing these important findings to light.
Scientia Professor Helen Christensen AO is the Director and Chief Scientist at the Black Dog Institute
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